Sunday, 12 May 2019

Highway to Helvegr

Been writing again - kind of a fix-it fic, I suppose. Ladies, gentlemen, boths and neithers, I give you:

Title: Highway to Helvegr

Rated K+ / General Audiences for the occasional naughty word.

A defeated Thor arrives in a parallel universe to drink away the loss of his brother. The Winchesters are no strangers to going to Hell for a brother; what’s a little rescue trip to Asgardian Hel between drinking buddies?
Set mid SPN S14 (no spoilers) and right after THAT death at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War.

I do not own any Marvel or Supernatural characters, names, likenesses or the suggestion thereof. This is all for fun, not for profit. Unless you add me to any favourites lists or leave reviews/comments.

Linky-link-link: HERE at An Archive of Our Own under my name TozaBoma (because they don’t re-edit your stuff later) and HERE at Fanfiction dot net under my name Mardy Lass.

If you even visit the page, I thank you.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

On endings

No spoilers here, but I need to take stock of all the things I’m losing, or have lost, in the TV and film world.


Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles)
With the news that season 15 would be its last, this show has spiralled out of the singular fandom, charities and help groups it had and erupted into world domination; those who watch it are fearful of the end of season 15, and those who don’t are dimly aware something is coming but have no clue of the repercussions.

The season 14 finale gave us everything I wanted in that we come full circle; everything the boys have achieved over the seasons may have been undone and now we have season 15 as either a clean-up or a meltdown. Who can say what it will be? Well the writers, obviously - but writers lie. I know. I’ve met them. I am one. What lies beyond this wonderfully meta finale is anyone’s guess and I can’t wait to see what happens. Even though every episode will bring us closer to the Actual End, I know I’ll be prioritising this show over all others and enjoying it whilst I can.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine documentary: What We Left Behind

Star Trek DS9 cast
Where do we start? I was an Indiegogo backer back in the day, and now the documentary is finally done and dusted, we get to see it before the north American cinema release (and blu ray for the rest of us). For those of us just joining us, this was a crowd-funded celebration doc for the 25th anniversary of DS9. All the other Star Trek franchises were hyped and re-released and celebrated by CBS/Paramount either at anniversary dates or just in the cause of making more money. DS9, again treated like the bastard child it was, was of course snubbed. So Ira Steven Behr and a load of others got together to make their own celebration doc, and here it is. We have writers, artists, network people, actors, characters - everything is in here. We have actors reading the original hate mail received by the writers in 1993 when the show first aired (think Mean Tweets but longer and much, much more hateful), very frank conversations about people and actors and make-up, some HD renderings of some of the best moments of DS9, and some special appearances that will make you squee and clap and miss DS9 all over again.

Those were the Star Trek years, indeed.

With my backer’s bundle I got access to an early streaming version of the doc, and I have to say now that I’ve watched it twice it’s awesome. All that remains is for CBS to proper convert the entire 7 seasons to HD/blu ray so that when I binge watch it again (and I will, for perhaps the 4th time in its entirety) it’ll look more like Star Trek and less like a VHS bootleg. I mean come on - have you seen it on Netflix? It looks like a worn-out VHS copy and I’m not even joking. As one of the best, most progressive, and most important Treks, it deserves better.

Anyway, that aside, it brings me back to wondering if, 2 years from now when Supernatural has been off the air for 12 months and I miss is, if I’ll be rewatching it the same as I do DS9. Something tells me yes.

Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame Hong Kong poster
Wow. Just wow. I know everyone else is going off like a frog in a sock about this, but I have a major problem with one element that makes me go NOPE. It feels like lazy writing and I have to be honest, it makes no sense and it’s not fair to the characters involved. I don’t mean the other heavyweights in this, I mean the character they did it to. I can’t go into details but at some point I fucking will and it won’t be pretty. There’s also the little wrinkle of a certain character not ending up how I’d like, and the fact that they didn’t fucking deserve it, and the moment of the Mary Sue pretending that the mere mention of one gay person once in the background means that Marvel is all LGBTQ+ friendly now. Not enough, dumbasses; not nearly enough. And how you shat on a few characters? Not cool, Russo brothers, not cool.

I’m mostly ok with how it turned out though, however I would have cut about 20 minutes out of it and some characters weren’t in it nearly enough. It’s always sad to see the end of an era, and everything from the moment we first saw Tony Stark build a Mark I suit is pretty much brought to a close. There are other, Tier 2 Avengers / non-Avengers movies coming out, but for right now, it’s ok for the Tier 1 Marvel Avengers stories to end like this.


Gotham series 5 finale
And so to the 5 season saga of how everyone came to be villains, heroes and Big Names in Gotham City. The season and indeed series finale, continuing a theme here, gave us everything we needed. With its final episode the series made good on the promise that was made to us in the opening scenes of the very first episode, when young Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed in an alleyway. We have all our major players, we have our main characters, and we even have all our second tier characters in place so that, in line with the bulk of canon, they can go on to become the other characters in comics and DCU movies.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; it’s a great, great shame that they don’t make DC movies the same way they made this DC series. Somewhere between Man of Steel and Legends of Tomorrow, Gotham knew what it was and never forgot it. It gave us humour through straight-faced characters who were not ashamed to be super villains or superheroes; it gave us some bizarre and dare I say it, batshit-crazy plot lines - but it never stopped believing in itself. It knew what it was and it didn’t shy away from it. The writers dared to go with frankly quite unbelievable storylines at times, but hey, this is a show about normal people gradually being turned into super names of all kinds, and at some point you have to just accept the fact that if other comic studios can have people turning into giant green rage monsters, then others can have humans without superpowers who are just trying to take over a city and if a vat of chemicals gets in the way, then ok, we roll with it.

Fun, balls-to-the-wall incredible and ‘out there’, it was a good series and I’ll miss it next week when it’s not there. I hope DC take note; this was the best of their TV fare.

And that’s all the endings that I want to talk about. There are others, but not the TV or movie kind. I’ll get to those, but another day.

Peach and lube, everyone. Peach and lube.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

If one door opens when another door shuts, you have a ghost problem

How do you put your finger on why you like/love a place so much? How do you define what it is that keeps bringing you back?

A few things in the last 10 days have helped me answer those questions, but not achieve my ultimate goal: to understand why I like/love Hong Kong and its permanence.

Hong Kong tram at night
I'm in HK at the moment, on holiday. I'm busy buying up local films on DVD or blu ray and going to the old haunts and hang-outs. I'm getting souvenirs for people back at work in Manchester, and just people-watching and navigating public transport (mostly on autopilot).

I'm going to dinner with friends and having a great time - we like the same things and having access to the places or clubs they go to is a bonus. I am aware that if they weren't here, my holiday would be very different. I would probably sleep later and miss half the day, but be up all night. I would probably spend one or two days just in my temporarily adopted home instead of going out - and then I'd miss out on being in HK.

Knowing what I do, this may be my last holiday to HK for a while. I'm surprisingly ok with that, as I have had time to deal with it and realise that I need to get all the things I need to right now, as I won't have access to them later. I do at least have a chance to do that.

It's also been brought to my attention that 3 people I come here to see may not be here in a few years. Retirement, ends of contracts, changing politics - all these have an impact on ex-pats and if these 3 close friends do actually leave HK to relocate to a calmer place to retire, then what am I coming to HK for?

And there we have it. Something I once wrote about a long time ago, but am now only just grasping: it's not the place, it's the people in it.

Every time I've left a job and got a new one, I haven't missed the job itself or the town or place it's in. I have missed a select few people with whom I used to work, but nothing more than that. And with the slow rise of social media and connectivity over the years, this is nowhere near as big a problem as it used to be.

With me leaving HK, perhaps for good this time - no take-backsies, no do-overs - and them moving on, then perhaps it was never really the city for me. Perhaps it was the people who made the city, and my life here, so exciting. I could come back here, get a job, start going out and doing all the things I like, but where would I find more people like them? And would I want to?

Dali Dance of Time statue
I've always had a certain flexibility with time, and especially emotions that go with it. I'm not good at emotions anyway, and it takes me a while to understand what I should have been feeling yesterday when something went down. But in the grand scheme of things, time and place are relative and if these people should end up in another East Asian country, then that's where I'll head out to for my next holiday. I'm not good at trying new things because I stop and think it through, and see the ending where I get it wrong or mess it up somehow. But knowing someone is there for me to see, and I have a goal, is different. I should be fine with it.

And I think I am. Perhaps HK is over for me. Perhaps I've got one more visit before everyone leaves and my time here is well and truly done. But what does that mean for the part of me that's still always here? Who am I when you take away the mish-mash of languages and culture and humour and context that came out of me living here for 11 years?

That's the problem I have. Will everything I know and do and say slip away, or change, with the passing time where my subconscious processes the fact that I'm done with HK? What's going to replace everything I lose?

And that's the thing. I may live in Manchester and have access to thousands of bars, loads of nightlife, and lots of different cultures, but I don't have my circle of friends with me to pass the time.

It looks like I'll just have to get some. How and where, I suppose time will tell. Once I have the all-clear from the chiropractor, I'll be looking at several clubs in the Manchester area (kickboxing or wing chun? Private or field archery?) and probably something will come out of that. It won't be HK, but it'll be a newer version of me, I suppose, coming out of what I want to spend my time on. I've been out to Manchester every weekend since November when I moved there, and I've still only scratched the surface of places to go and things to see, so I'm pretty sure there's something waiting for me, something that will become my new favourite thing. Until then I'll just keep on keeping on, and something will happen.

And that's all the news that's fit to print, I think. Until next time.


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